Paolo and Francesca by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The painting consists of two compartments separated by the figures of Virgil in a black robe, and Dante in a green robe, on a gold ground, inscribed at the top '0 lasso!'.

Details

Medium:
Watercolour
Dimensions:
25 x 44 cm
Acquired in:
1916
Vendor:
Rae family

In the left compartment, Paolo is kissing Francesca. An illuminated volume lies on her knee. In the right compartment the figures of the lovers in the same robes are floating, locked in an embrace, diagonally across a rain of tongues of flame. The painting is an illustration of the story in the fifth canto of The Inferno, which tells how Francesca, being married to Lanciotto, fell in love with her husband's brother Paolo, and how Lanciotto, discovering this, put the guilty pair to death.

Provenance

Collection of Rae

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